Tulsa Peace Fellowship

There never was a good war or a bad peace. ~Ben Franklin

The Tulsa Peace Fellowship's Counter-Recruitment Update/Digest, for Sept 2011

   Truth in Recruiting - "Don't Believe the Hype!" -

scroll down for details about any story, or follow the links -

Lead Story from the past month's news:


Public Schools On Military Bases Get Bad Report Card
Emma Schwartz, News Analysis:

“A substantial number of public schools on military bases are in either poor or failing condition, and many are overcrowded, a new report card by the Defense Department shows. The latest data adds to the grim portrait of dilapidated and undersized schools described in an iWatch News investigation , which found that three in four Pentagon-run schools are either beyond repair or would require extensive renovation to meet minimum standards for safety, quality, accessibility and design. Where military children go to school depends on circumstances often beyond family control. More than 500,000 children, the largest proportion, live off base, attending local schools in urban or suburban communities that often have significantly more resources.”

Among the schools with the worst rankings in the report was Geronimo Road Elementary at Fort Sill in Oklahoma. The report listed Geronimo Road's condition as failing.




page 1

featured op/ed
Forty years after Vietnam, a new call to protest:
U.S. Government turns a blind eye to Orwellian crimes
--U.S. State Department accused of intentionally lying to the American people
--Written by a former Superior Court judge who now is a member of "Veterans for Peace"

"Stop the Machine" comes from the words and meaning of Henry David Thoreau's 1849 essay "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience." The nonviolent protest will begin on Oct. 6. It will end when we decide we have done all that we can.

--for detailed information about the Oct. 6 protest, go to http://october2011.org


file under: the militarization of peaceful vocations
The Forgotten Failures of the Peace Corps
--a litany of reasons not to join up as a volunteer with this organization, accused of fostering neocolonialism (dependency on America)

facts & figures:
The Peace Corps was re-organized in 1981 as a fully-independent federal agency. Limitations on former volunteers include the following: 1. Former members of the Peace Corps may not be assigned to military intelligence duties for a period of 4 years following Peace Corps service; 2 furthermore, they are by law forever prohibited from serving in a military intelligence posting to any country in which they volunteered.

In 2010, concerns about the safety of volunteers were ratified by a report by the Office of Inspector General listing hundreds of violent crimes against Peace Corps volunteers. In 2011, a 20/20 investigation found that "more than 1,000 young American women have been raped or sexually assaulted while serving as Peace Corps volunteers in foreign countries in the last decade."

also see:
Video segment, historical retrospective on the genesis of the Peace Corps, in 1960:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNW6ftdCOMo

file under: bringing the war home
20 Percent of Veterans in College Have Planned to Commit Suicide

facts & figures:
In the past two years state governments across the country have slashed the budgets that would have provided services for veterans in college.

related story:
Widow: Ranger killed self to avoid added tour

file under: the militarization of civilian life
Holdout law schools to accept military recruiters
--Vermont Law School and another independent law school — the William Mitchell College of Law, in St. Paul, Minn. — are caving in to allow military recruiters, once again, on campus, like at every other law school in the country.

sidebar:
Dozens of AK-47 rifles stolen from California Army base
file under: Situation Normal All Fouled Up

file under:  DoD fleeced by outsourcers, yet again
Pentagon’s Lightning Gun Sold for Scraps on eBay
--worthless technology not even good enough for an art show

file under: cycle of violence
Worst US loss of life in Afghan war as downed helicopter kills 38
--Eight Afghan soldiers and 30 US forces from unit that killed Bin Laden die after insurgents shoot down Chinook

related op/ed
Stop Sacrificing American Lives for Afghan Debacle
by Medea Benjamin

quote:
Our presence in Afghanistan is not making us safer because Afghanistan is not a threat to us. This was clearly acknowledged by a senior Obama administration official in a background briefing to reporters on June 21.“United States hasn’t seen a terrorist threat from Afghanistan, for the past seven or eight years,” he said.

NATO Bombs Kill 85 Civilians in Single Deadliest Attack
Worst loss of innocent life since the Western war on Libya’s Gadhafi regime began

--The civilians were killed in a cluster of farmhouses in Majar, according to Libyan officials.

164 Children Murdered By US Drones
--Unembedded analysts come to independent conclusions, flying in the face of Pentagon party line on UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles)

World’s Most Costly Jet Still Grounded
--just the latest in a series of snafus for the F-22 fighter jet

more coverage:

file under: FUBAR
Thousands of Faulty Stealth Fighters Grounded
--hundreds of billions of dollars wasted, all designs are faulty


page 2

file under: Don't they screen who gets a gun?
How Do These People Get Through the Military Recruitment Process?
--screening process needs to be scrutinized when members of the Armed Forces are repeatedly implicated in atrocities or serious crimes.

Ex-U.S. soldier loses appeal over rape and killing of Iraqi civilians
— Steven Green, named as the ringleader in the March 2006 atrocity, is a former US soldier serving a life sentence for the gang rape and murder of an Iraqi girl and the slaughter of her family

follow up: bringing the war back home with you, in your head
Vets with PTSD, government reach settlement
--More than a thousand Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder would be given lifetime disability retirement benefits

on a tangent:
Army vet with PTSD sought the treatment he needed by taking hostages – but got jail instead

file under: what?! there are rules in wartime?
Two Iraq war crime cases linger for Camp Pendleton Marines
--Both deal with former infantry squad leaders accused in the slaying of one or more Iraqi civilians in the far western province of Anbar, during the height of the insurgency.

featured op/ed
Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the U.S. Terror State
file under: no statute of limitations on war crimes

quote:
"The propaganda that the atomic bombings saved lives was nothing but a public relations pitch contrived in retrospect. These were just gratuitous acts of mass terrorism."
~Anthony Gregory

related story:
The Lingering Effects of the U.S. Occupation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
--Greg Mitchell recounts how, in the weeks and months after the U.S. attacked the two cities with atomic bombs, spreading destruction and radiation over a wide area, an estimated 118,000 U.S. military personnel passed through the atomic cities, between Sept 1945 and August 1946

quote:
“We walked into Nagasaki unprepared…. Really, we were ignorant about what the hell the bomb was,” one soldier recalls. When the servicemen returned to the United States, many of them suffered from strange rashes and sores. Years later some were afflicted with disease (such as thyroid problems and leukemia) or cancer associated with radiation exposure.

file under: the wheels of justice grind slowly but surely
U.S. Veteran Allowed to Sue Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfel...

--In court filings, the unidentified former soldier alleges he had been preparing to come home when the U.S. military abducted him out of the blue and held him without charge.

file under: travesty of justice, military style
US soldier gets 3 years for Afghan killing spree
--In a plea bargain, "manslaughterer" avoids life sentence for premeditated murder

file under:  psychotic sub-culture in the military
3 Marines charged in Afghanistan hazing case


backpage:

North Korea Urges US to Accept Peace Deal
--The statement also made it clear that the North Korean government believes that a peace deal would be a key to moving toward nuclear disarmament on the Korean Peninsula. The North Korean government successfully tested a nuclear weapon in May, 2009.

    follow up:
    Two days later: US Unilaterally Demands North Korea Accept Nuclear Disarmament

US officials insisted that further talks required the North to immediately commit to full nuclear disarmament.

file under: how the mighty have fallen
Mubarak, in Cage at Court, Pleads Not Guilty

file under: negotiating with erstwhile enemies
Taliban Okays Peace Talks If US Sets Pullout Date
--Taliban Leadership Insists It Already Agreed to Sever All Ties With al-Qaeda

file under: ending the American occupation of Iraq
Iraqi Vice President says: US Pullout Would Improve Security
--Continued American military presence is "a problem, not a solution," VP says

file under: an empire of bases
Okinawa aims to wean itself off of U.S. military dollars
--US troops in Japan are to be relocated to the island of Guam, in the Pacific Ocean

quote:
“What we will gain is far greater than what we lose from base closure.”
~Okinawa Vice Governor Kanetoshi Yoseda
facts & figures:
U.S. military personnel based in Okinawa spend about $17 million each year on personal vehicle purchases, according to USFJ data.


related event:

Tulsa Peace Fellowship

presents


monthly "first Saturday" anti-war demo in Tulsa
scheduled for
Saturday Sept 3rd, 2011, 12noon to 2pm,
corner of 41st & Yale, in Tulsa
with the themes:
"Bring the Military $$ Home!"
"The Wars Are Making You Poor"
"War Destroys Our Wealth"

Details online: http://tulsapeacefellowship.ning.com/

 



epitaph for this edition of "Truth in Recruiting"

One of the least reported biographical details of Timothy McVeigh, executed for the Oklahoma bombing that killed so many innocent people, is that his own disregard for life was cultivated during his time as an American soldier from 1988 to 1992. He was awarded the bronze star for service in the first war on Iraq, where he killed civilians and teenage conscripts under the cover of law. It was here that he learned how to suppress the whisperings of his conscience, and to harden his heart. As he said:

"If there is a hell, then I'll be in good company with a lot of fighter pilots who also had to bomb innocents to win the war."

~Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., founder and chairman of the Mises Institute, executor for the estate of Murray N. Rothbard, and editor of LewRockwell.com. Formerly he was editorial assistant to Ludwig von Mises and congressional chief of staff to Congressman Ron Paul.  source: "Ideas and the Culpability for Violence" July 27, 2011 http://lewrockwell.com/rockwell/ideas-and-culpability-for-violence1...


The Tulsa Peace Fellowship's Counter-Recruitment Update/Digest, for Sept 2011
lead story

Public Schools On Military Bases Get Bad Report Card
Emma Schwartz, News Analysis

“A substantial number of public schools on military bases are in either poor or failing condition, and many are overcrowded, a new report card by the Defense Department shows. The latest data adds to the grim portrait of dilapidated and undersized schools described in an iWatch News investigation , which found that three in four Pentagon-run schools are either beyond repair or would require extensive renovation to meet minimum standards for safety, quality, accessibility and design. Where military children go to school depends on circumstances often beyond families’ control. More than 500,000 children, the largest proportion, live off base, attending local schools in urban or suburban communities that often have significantly more resources.”

Among the schools with the worst rankings in the report was Geronimo Road Elementary at Fort Sill in Oklahoma, one of the schools highlighted in an iWatchNews video about Catie Hunter, a fifth grader whose father has been deployed multiple times. At her school, she must navigate between garbage bins collecting water from the roof in order to class. The school also has mold on some of its walls, and cracks can be seen along a hallway. The report listed Geronimo Road's condition as failing.

The iWatchNews investigation in June revealed an array of substandard conditions at many of the 353 schools for military children worldwide. Three in four Defense Department-run schools on military installations are either beyond repair or would require extensive renovation to meet minimum standards for safety, quality, accessibility and design, the iWatchNews probe found. Schools run by public-school systems on Army posts don’t fare much better: 39 percent fail to meet even the military’s own standards, according to a 2010 Army report.

http://www.nationofchange.org/public-schools-military-bases-get-bad...


The Tulsa Peace Fellowship's Counter-Recruitment Update/Digest, for Sept 2011
page 1

Forty years later, a new call to protest
Government has turned a blind eye to Orwellian crimes
By Art Brennan / For the Monitor
August 21, 2011

On Oct. 6, "Stop the Machine" begins in Washington, D.C. The last time I participated in a powerful American protest was in the spring of 1971: the peace march against the war in Vietnam. I was a young soldier in the 82d Airborne and my wife Nancy had just given birth to Molly at Fort Bragg. I was deployed to D.C. and did what I was ordered to do - nothing that amounted to much. But I promised myself that if I ever got into a position where I could make a difference, I would not lie about war, as our military and civilian leaders were doing then and are doing now. I would do my best to tell the truth.

In the summer of 2007, I retired as a full-time New Hampshire superior court judge and went to Iraq to direct a State Department anti-corruption agency at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad called the Office of Accountability and Transparency. The character of that agency turned out to be just as ironic and Orwellian as its name. It was intended as window dressing for the State Department.

After less than a month in Iraq, I returned to the United States and was asked to testify to Congress about my experience with OAT and the government of Iraq. I testified about the murderous corruption and deceit of the government of Iraq and of the U.S. State Department. When I say "corruption," I'm talking about $18 billion missing. When I say "deceit," I'm talking about the State Department intentionally lying to the American people. I gave examples of what I had witnessed. I hoped that my testimony would help get the truth out and move Congress to act. Those of us who testified knew there could be consequences; the last thing the State Department wanted was accountability and transparency for itself and for the al Maliki government it was propping up.

But the "professionals" of the State Department need not have worried. Our testimony was ignored by Presidents Bush and Obama and, to a great extent, by the House and the Senate. Even the U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, which audited and reported to Congress on the billions of dollars lost from negligence, theft and waste, failed to move Congress and the White House. In fact, the same ambassadors, foreign service officers, senior military officers and contractors who wasted thousands of American lives and billions of American dollars under Bush are now wasting thousands of American lives and billions of American dollars under Obama. The only material consequence of our testimony was our blacklisting by the U.S. Embassy.

Now I am a member of "Veterans for Peace." A few weeks ago I volunteered to be on the legal team for the "October 2011 Coalition." Nancy and I decided to join many other Americans who plan to protest against the endless wars, the environmental destruction and the financial devastation being inflicted on Americans and people all over the world by our increasingly phony and dangerously militaristic "leadership."

On Oct. 6, this coalition of American citizens for peace, justice, health and security will begin an extended nonviolent community exercise at Freedom Plaza in Washington. The protest will consist of thousands of us who plan to use our presence, our bodies, to send an unmistakable message to the U.S. government. The message is (with apologies to Ralph Waldo Emerson) that we are fed up with the "little statesmen, corporations and divines" who are running the people of this country into the ground. We are disgusted with the lack of integrity in Congress, the Senate, the White House and the U.S. Supreme Court. We will stop these pretenders from stealing our freedom and our universal human rights. We demand that Congress repeal the weirdly named "Homeland" laws that invade our privacy and ensure secrecy for a government that wants to keep us ignorant and afraid. We hold Presidents Obama and Bush accountable for applying twisted interpretations of our laws to secretly counsel the "Department of Justice" to turn a blind eye to major crimes by the highest-ranking U.S. officials while it brutally prosecutes federal employees, contractors, and American soldiers who have had the conscience and the courage to speak the truth.

We will make education, health and security for all the people, including people who live hopelessly in poverty, the top priority for domestic policy in this country. We will stop the slide toward fascism and prevent the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court from sacrificing our human dignity, health and security for the corporate masters of greed and war.

We will teach our leaders to influence the world by example, not with U.S. corporate greed and military power, but with the understanding, intelligence and success of a nation of courageous, dynamic and responsible people.

"Stop the Machine" comes from the words and meaning of Henry David Thoreau's 1849 essay "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience." The nonviolent protest will begin on Oct. 6. It will end when we decide we have done all that we can.

(Art Brennan lives in Weare. For detailed information about the Oct. 6 protest, go to october2011.org.)
http://october2011.org/blogs/margaret-flowers/forty-years-later-new...

TPF would like to thank Mark Manley for bringing the above op/ed to our attention.


The Forgotten Failures of the Peace Corps
by James Bovard
August 4, 2011

The Peace Corps’s founders deliberately emphasized amateurism in volunteers as a virtue, which turned out to be a prescription for disasters.

Robert E. White, Peace Corps regional director for Latin America, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1970, “In the early days ... it was like a parachute drop. A Volunteer would be told, ‘Here’s the bus that you take. Go and look around and get off where you think you can do some good.’” An official report by the government of Honduras concluded in 1968, “The Volunteer appears to be someone with nothing to do; his skills are not utilized and the community doesn’t know what he has to offer in the way of help.”

Indeed, throughout Latin America, volunteers were sometimes referred to as “vagos” — Spanish for “vagabonds.” A Brazilian development expert concluded in a Peace Corps-commissioned study in 1968, “As economic developers, Volunteers have not had any lasting impact on any community. They are more efficient spokesmen for their interests than ... for the poor.” One Latin American government official complained to a Peace Corps auditor in 1968, “The Volunteers I have known recently — with one exception — are not helping us at all. They created problems for us.”

Competence has often been a Peace Corps stumbling block. In the Peace Corps’s first quarter-century, 21 governments kicked it out of their countries, often because volunteers had little or nothing to offer. The inability of the volunteers to speak the local language has been a perennial problem.

Many volunteers have worked as teachers abroad, but often with little success. Two studies of volunteers’ effectiveness in Korea found that they did little or no good for their students. The Cameroon Foreign Ministry once complained that volunteers’ “work showed a complete lack of worthwhile teaching method” and suggested that they confine their efforts to physical education and sports. A young Ceylonese observed, “It was because of their complete unsuitability as teachers that these Volunteers became the laughingstock among our teachers and students.”

Some Peace Corps agricultural efforts directly hurt Third World poor. ... Peace Corps evaluations tell stories of volunteers who urged farmers to use fertilizer that cost the farmers more than the value of the increased crop output. Indeed, volunteers’ lack of economic realism often bushwhacked the recipients of their benevolence.

Faced with 20 years of such grim evaluations, the Reagan administration got rid of the Inspector General. Instead of an IG that evaluated what volunteers did abroad, the Peace Corps got a new “Office of Compliance,” which mainly worried about whether the country’s programs were following regulations. Charles Peters, chief of Peace Corps evaluation in the 1960s and now editor of The Washington Monthly, observes, “That means the guy in charge doesn’t want to find out what’s wrong.” A former top Peace Corps official under Reagan confirms this charge: “You’re talking about Alice in Wonderland management. It’s not important what’s happening — it’s only important what people think is happening.” The Peace Corps under Reagan even stopped taking annual surveys of volunteers’ assessment of the Corps’s strengths and weaknesses.

As early as 1969, a Peace Corps official complained that the Peace Corps had become an organization “of the volunteers, by the volunteers, and for the volunteers.” Chilean sociologist Ricardo Zuniga, in his Harvard doctoral dissertation on the Peace Corps, observed, “There is a pervasive focusing on the giver rather than the host.” After surveying thousands of pages of Peace Corps literature, Zuniga concluded that it gives “almost no attention to ‘goal attainment’ (effectiveness).”

Most of the former Peace Corps volunteers I have met conceded that their time abroad did little good for the foreigners.

Insofar as the Peace Corps makes Americans believe that the U.S. government’s actions abroad are a fount of benevolence, they prevent citizens from recognizing the harm inflicted on many nations in their name.

byline: James Bovard is the author of Attention Deficit Democracy [2006] as well as The Bush Betrayal [2004], Lost Rights [1994] and Terrorism and Tyranny: Trampling Freedom, Justice and Peace to Rid the World of Evil (Palgrave-Macmillan, September 2003) and serves as a policy advisor for The Future of Freedom Foundation. Send him email.

This article originally appeared in the April 2011 edition of Freedom Daily.
http://www.fff.org/freedom/fd1104c.asp

For more information on the Peace Corps, from a neutral source, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_Corps

follow up: PTSD epidemic
20 Percent of Veterans in College Have Planned to Commit Suicide
Kevin S. Donohoe
August 9, 2011

Veterans in college are six times more likely to attempt suicide than the typical student and more than a fifth have planned to kill themselves, a new study presented at the American Psychological Association’s annual meeting shows.

“If we don’t think [this] through, it’s going to be a significant and very difficult problem,” the study’s author, M.David Rudd said. “These [mental health] numbers were far higher than anticipated” and veterans are “having dramatically more difficulty than the typical student.”

The study shows that about half of veterans have contemplated killing themselves and that 82 percent of those who attempted suicide also struggled with significant post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. Researchers say veterans often feel disconnected from their fellow students.

In Maryland, Charles Whittington, an Iraq war veteran, was suspended from the Community College of Baltimore County after he wrote a paper about his addiction to killing that college administrators found “disturbing.” Other veterans have complained that fellow students are immature or constantly ask, “Did you kill anyone over there?”

http://www.thenation.com/blog/162649/20-percent-veterans-college-ha...

TPF would like to thank contributors to the NNOMY listserv for bringing the above article to our attention.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/counter-recruitment/?yguid=364277839


file under: ongoing epidemic of suicides in the U.S. military
Widow: Ranger killed self to avoid added tour
The Associated Press
Posted : Wednesday Aug 24, 2011 19:46:16 EDT

SEATTLE — The widow of an Army Ranger who served at least six combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan says her husband killed himself to avoid a new deployment.

Ashley Joppa-Hagemann says Staff Sgt. Jared Hagemann was scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan this month but he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and tried desperately to avoid redeployment. She says he shot himself June 28 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Seattle. She said this would have been her husband’s 9th deployment, while the Army said Wednesday it would have been his 7th.

An Army spokesman says Hagemann reenlisted in January.

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2011/08/ap-ranger-killed-self-to-avoi...

file under: the militarization of civilian life
Holdout law schools to accept military recruiters
By John Curran, Associated Press
Aug 14, 2011

SOUTH ROYALTON, Vt. – For Vermont Law School, the price of standing on principle was $500,000.  That's how much school officials estimate they lost in federal money every year for refusing to allow military recruiters on campus because of their opposition to the Pentagon's policy on gays in the uniformed services.

Now that it's being repealed, Vermont Law School and another independent law school — the William Mitchell College of Law, in St. Paul, Minn. — are gearing up to welcome back recruiters. 

The law schools were the only ones in America that barred the recruiters despite a measure known as the Solomon Amendment, which banned some types of federal funding from going to institutions that balked at allowing on-campus visits by recruiters for the judge advocates general.

Both are independent law schools unaffiliated with larger universities or state institutions, which allowed them to stand on principle without costing affiliated schools millions of federal dollars for scientific research and other academic pursuits.

Other schools couldn't.

"William Mitchell and Vermont (Law School) deserve a ton of credit," said Kent Greenfield, a Boston College law professor who was part of an unsuccessful court challenge to the Solomon Amendment by law schools in 2003. "They're worthy of a lot of admiration and the thanks of gay and lesbian service members and gay and lesbians around the country for sticking up for gay rights, even when it cost them federal funds."

The U.S. has barred homosexuals from the armed services since World War I.

http://old.news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110814/ap_on_re_us/us_recruiting_l...

sidebar: SNAFU
Dozens of AK-47 rifles stolen from CA Army base

By Kase Wickman
July 31st, 2011

Twenty-six AK-47 rifles and a Dragunov rifle were stolen from a supply warehouse at Fort Irwin, an Army base in California's Mojave Desert, the LA Times reported.

Officials are offering a $10,000 reward for information.  Investigators suspect that some of the stolen assault rifles could turn up in Fresno, California, according to UPI.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/07/31/dozens-of-ak-47-rifles-stolen...


Pentagon’s Lightning Gun Sold for Scraps on eBay

    By Noah Shachtman
    August 4, 2011

There was a time, not all that long ago, when the Pentagon sank tens of millions of dollars into remote-controlled lightning guns that it hoped would fry insurgent bombs before they killed any more troops. Now, disassembled parts from the one-time wonder-weapons are being sold on eBay. At least one buyer snatched up the gear, hoping to use it in his latest art project.

All of which would make for a funny little story, if that buyer didn’t discover that the multimillion dollar “Joint  Improvised Explosive Device Neutralizers,” or JINs, were kluged together from third-rate commercial electronics, and controlled by open Wi-Fi signals. In other words, the Pentagon didn’t just overpay for a flawed weapon. On the off-chance the JIN ever worked, the insurgents could control it, too.

“This is the hack of all hacks,” says Cody Oliver, a freelance technologist in San Francisco. “And this is what they were selling to the government? Holy shit.”

OK, that story is kind of funny, too

The military, on the other hand, continues to have some faith in [said] technology, investing additional millions into their lightning weapons.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/08/pentagons-lightning-gun/


Worst US loss of life in Afghan war as helicopter crash kills 38

Eight Afghan soldiers and 30 US forces from unit that killed Bin Laden die after insurgents shoot down Chinook

Jon Boone in Kabul
guardian.co.uk
7 August 2011

Thirty members of the American special forces have been killed in Afghanistan in the deadliest day of the 10-year war for US military personnel when the Taliban shot down a Chinook helicopter. The majority of those killed were from Navy Seal Team 6, the unit that killed Osama bin Laden in a night-time raid deep into Pakistan, but are not the same personnel.

Eight members of the Afghan National Army were also killed when rebels destroyed the massive double-rotor transport helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade.

The Taliban claimed they had downed the helicopter with rocket fire while it was taking part in a raid on a house where insurgents were gathered in the province of Wardak. It said wreckage was strewn at the scene.

Nato confirmed the crash

At a time of collapsing public support for the Afghan war in the US, where the conflict is increasingly seen as too expensive and possibly unwinnable, the deaths of so many soldiers is likely to increase pressure on Obama to speed up the withdrawal of US forces.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/06/us-biggest-loss-afghan-...

related op/ed
Stop Sacrificing American Lives for Afghan Debacle
by Medea Benjamin
August 08, 2011

quote:
Our presence in Afghanistan is not making us safer because Afghanistan is not a threat to us. This was clearly acknowledged by a senior Obama administration official in a background briefing to reporters on June 21.“United States hasn’t seen a terrorist threat from Afghanistan, for the past seven or eight years,” he said.

Gadhafi Officials: NATO Bombs Kill 85 Civilians

NATO says attack was on 'military staging area'

by Jeremy Sapienza
August 09, 2011

In what could be the single deadliest NATO attack since the Western war on Libya’s Gadhafi regime began in May, 85 civilians were killed in a cluster of farmhouses in Majar, according to Libyan officials. The village is about 90 miles east of the capital, Tripoli.

A Gadhafi spokesman said 33 children, 32 women, and 20 men were killed in the attack.

A Reuters reporter saw 30 bodies at a hospital in nearby Zlitan, some of which contained the remains of children.

http://news.antiwar.com/2011/08/09/gadhafi-officials-nato-bombs-kil...

164 Children Murdered By US Drones

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) last month began to publish their findings in a study of the U.S. drone war in Pakistan. The study found that much higher rates of civilian casualties had resulted from the U.S. drone war than had been admitted by the government or than had been reported in the press.

Drone War Exposed – the complete picture of CIA strikes in Pakistan

August 10th, 2011 | by Chris Woods

CIA drone strikes have led to far more deaths in Pakistan than previously understood, according to extensive new research published by the Bureau. More than 160 children are among at least 2,292 people reported killed in US attacks since 2004. There are credible reports of at least 385 civilians among the dead.

In a [completely predictable attempt at damage control], a counter-terrorism official has also released US government estimates of the numbers killed. These state that an estimated 2,050 people have been killed in drone strikes – of whom all but an estimated 50 are combatants.

Reassessment
The Bureau’s fundamental reassessment of the covert US campaign involved a complete re-examination of all that is known about each US drone strike.

The study is based on close analysis of credible materials: some 2,000 media reports; witness testimonies; field reports of NGOs and lawyers; secret US government cables; leaked intelligence documents, and relevant accounts by journalists, politicians and former intelligence officers.

The Bureau’s findings are published in a 22,000-word database which covers each individual strike in Pakistan in detail. A powerful search engine, an extensive timeline and searchable maps accompany the data.

The result is the clearest public understanding so far of the CIA’s covert drone war against the militants.

Iain Overton, the Bureau’s editor said: ‘It comes as no surprise that the US intelligence services would attack our findings in this way.  But to claim our methodology is problematic before we had even published reveals how they really operate. A revelation that is reinforced by the fact that they cannot bring themselves to refer to non-combatants as what they really are: civilians and, all too often, children’.

The Bureau’s data reveals many more CIA attacks on alleged militant targets than previously reported. At least 291 US drone strikes are now known to have taken place since 2004.

full article: http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2011/08/10/most-complete-pictu...

World’s Most Costly Jet Still Grounded

Marian Wang, Pro Publica
18 August 2011

News Analysis: "The problem is just the latest in a series of snafus for the F-22, which has faced a number of hurdles in its three-decade-long development. In 2009, the Washington Post noted early structural deficiencies and computer flaws with the F-22s, as well as problems with the jet’s radar-absorbent coating, which required costly and time-consuming maintenance. The United States has spent more than $65 billion on developing the F-22s, which have never been used in combat. Air Force officials told the Los Angeles Times recently that the F-22 hasn’t been used in conflicts yet because it’s “designed for high-threat environments, not what we’ve seen in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.”

In 2009, then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates successfully pushed to Congress to stop buying more of the planes.

http://www.nationofchange.org/despite-65-billion-investment-worlds-...


Thousands of Faulty Stealth Fighters Grounded
by John Glaser
August 09, 2011

The U.S. Air Force has wasted hundreds of billions of dollars on research and development for three fleets of stealth fighter jets, all of which are faulty or have been put on hold for complications.

But after building more than 170 F-22 Raptors and a handful of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, not a single one is available for service.

The vaunted F-22 has been grounded with a possible faulty oxygen system since May. Production of the last few Raptors is even on hold, because the jets can’t fly from the factory.

Last week, test flights for the newer F-35 were suspended, too, because of a valve problem in the plane’s integrated power package. It’s the third time this year that JSFs have been grounded.

Nonetheless, the U.S. military committed to spending another $535 million to buy 38 more Joint Strike Fighters.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/08/entire-u-s-stealth-fighter-...



The Tulsa Peace Fellowship's Counter-Recruitment Update/Digest, for Sept 2011
page 2



How do these people get through the military recruitment process?
Some Neglected Questions on the Attempted Fort Hood Attack
by Anthony Gregory, July 29, 2011
The Future of Freedom Foundation

The military supposedly employs the best and the brightest, and yet its screening process is rarely scrutinized when a member of the Armed Forces is implicated in an atrocity or serious crime. Neither the soldiers callously shooting at what turns out to be civilians in the Wikileaks footage from last year, nor the troops caught up in the multiple torture scandals throughout the war on terrorism, nor the numerous instances of soldiers returning from battle engaging in domestic crime, are ever noted as possible evidence that there is a problem with the military itself.

As the war on terror has slugged along, the military has lowered its standards to widen the pool of potential recruits. Americans have tired of these wars, and so we have seen stop-loss orders, the redeployment of soldiers multiple times after their terms expire, and dishonest practices adopted by recruiters on school campuses. The military has loosened standards to enlist illegal aliens and has waived rules against recruiting felons in tens of thousands of cases. CBS reported in 2009 that not only did female soldiers accuse male soldiers of rape in hundreds of cases that were never seriously investigated, but in numerous instances “moral waivers ” were used by the Army and the Marines to enlist convicts with felony rape and sexual assault on their records.

It should thus be no surprise that the U.S. government is so desperate for cannon fodder that those who are a bit mentally unstable even before heading into combat make the cut. The state lacks the means or incentives to carefully screen out dangerous people, even if such a process could be undertaken reliably. Let us remember that the first Fort Hood shooter, Nidal Hassan, was an Army psychologist.

Does the military itself breed violence?

The military is an institution in which the enemy is dehumanized. When soldiers and veterans resort to violence outside the battlefield, acts of torture, or terrorism, it is rarely regarded as possibly connected to the military culture itself. The most notable example of this was Timothy McVeigh, the convicted and executed Oklahoma City bomber, who was in the U.S. Army for several years, including a stint in the First Gulf War, where he later said he learned how to turn off his emotions. He considered himself a soldier at war with a U.S. government gone out of control, notably in its conduct in the Waco, Texas, standoff of 1993. Two years later, on the anniversary of the Waco fire, he bombed the Murrah building, seeing his crime as an act of war.

Yet although the connection should be obvious — an institution that instills into people the capacity to see other people as subhuman enemies to be killed is going to breed people with problems handling their violent impulses — it is never asked outright if the military, and especially its wars, encourage acts of violence. But as long as we are at perpetual war, living with a permanent warfare state, there will be more Abdos, Nissans, and McVeighs.

http://www.fff.org/comment/com1107x.asp


Ex-U.S. soldier loses appeal over rape and killing of Iraqis

By Agence France-Presse
August 16th, 2011

CHICAGO — A former US soldier serving a life sentence for the gang rape and murder of an Iraqi girl and the slaughter of her family lost his appeal Tuesday, court records showed.

Steven Green, named as the ringleader in the March 2006 atrocity, was tried in civilian court after being discharged from the army due to a "personality disorder" before his role in the crime came to light.

Three other soldiers were given life sentences by a military court for the attack, which they plotted over whiskey and a game of cards at a traffic check point in Mahmudiyah, south of Baghdad.

Unlike Green, who has no possibility of parole, they can be released in as little as 10 years for participating in the rape and killing of 14-year-old Abeer al-Janabi and the murder of her mother, father and six-year-old sister.

Green's lawyers argued in their appeal of his 2009 conviction that the civilian court lacked jurisdiction because he was not properly discharged from the army.

They said the statute that allowed him to be tried in a civilian court for crimes committed while serving in the military -- which has its own system of justice -- was unconstitutional.

"We find that these arguments fail and thus affirm the decision of the district court," Judge Boyce Martin wrote in a unanimous 23-page opinion.

While there was "no question" of Green's guilt, Martin wrote that "Green should never have been accepted by the Army" noting that his testing at enlistment was "marginal at best" and he only had "limited" training.

"While many were to blame for the breakdown that led up to this tragedy, there was no single cause," Martin wrote, adding that Green's supervisors "failed in their duties."

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/08/16/ex-u-s-soldier-loses-appeal-o...

Vets with PTSD, government reach settlement

By Kimberly Hefling, Associated Press – Jul 29, 2011

WASHINGTON – More than a thousand Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder would be given lifetime disability retirement benefits such as military health insurance under the terms of a settlement reached between the government and the veterans.

Attorneys for the veterans, the Justice Department and the military jointly filed a motion on Thursday that spelled out the terms. The settlement must be approved by a judge to be final.

It also affects another thousand veterans who already had lifetime retirement benefits, but would receive a higher disability rating from the military. All of the veterans affected by the settlement would potentially receive new monthly disability compensation.

The settlement stems from a 2008 class action lawsuit filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington by veterans unable to serve, at least in part, because of the anxiety disorder who said they were illegally denied benefits.

The law requires the military to give a disability rating of at least 50 percent to troops discharged for PTSD, but each of the plaintiffs received a disability less than that, said Bart Stichman, co-executive director of the National Veterans Legal Services Program, a nonprofit organization that represented the veterans.

http://old.news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110729/ap_on_re_us/us_veterans_law...


Army vet with PTSD sought the treatment he needed by taking hostages – but got jail instead
By Megan McCloskey
Stars and Stripes
Published: August 18, 2011

FORT STEWART, Ga.-- Fifteen months of carnage in Iraq had left the 29-year-old Anthony Quinones debilitated by post-traumatic stress disorder. But despite his doctor’s urgent recommendation, the Army failed to send him to a Warrior Transition Unit for help. The best the Department of Veterans Affairs could offer was 10-minute therapy sessions — via videoconference.

So, early on Labor Day morning last year, after topping off a night of drinking with a handful of sleeping pills, Quinones barged into Fort Stewart’s hospital, forced his way to the third-floor psychiatric ward and held three soldiers hostage, demanding better mental health treatment.

“I’ve done it the Army’s way,” Quinones told Henson. “We’re going to do it my way now.”

The standoff ended after two hours without any injuries, but Quinones’ problems were only beginning. Now he’s sitting in a jail cell awaiting his fate on a litany of federal charges while a court sorts out whether he should be prosecuted or committed.

When Quinones returned from Iraq in September 2007, his leaders noticed he wasn’t the same. He had a hard time readjusting. The hypervigilance just wouldn’t go away. He was anxious all the time and plagued by insomnia. He roamed the hallways at night while the rest of the barracks slept. When he did sleep, he had nightmares. After years of occasional drinking, he started hitting the bottle hard, first with friends and then by himself. PTSD had taken a hostage of its own.

Quinones’ story is one of an ordinary soldier who went off to war, came home broken, and then went over the edge after the government didn’t do enough to fix him.

full article: http://www.stripes.com/army-vet-with-ptsd-sought-the-treatment-he-n...


Two Iraq war crime cases linger for Camp Pendleton Marines

By Gretel C. Kovach, Reporter
August 3, 2011

Legal battles for two Camp Pendleton Marines implicated in prominent war crimes cases are dragging on.

Both deal with former infantry squad leaders accused in the slaying of one or more Iraqi civilians in the far western province of Anbar, during the height of the insurgency.

Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins III was convicted in 2007 by a military jury of murder and other crimes relating to the death of an unarmed Iraqi man the previous year in Hamdaniya. Hutchins was accused of being the ringleader of eight servicemen who plotted to capture and kill an insurgent bomb layer.

When they couldn’t find the man at home, they kidnapped a neighbor instead, shot him and planted a shovel and gun at the scene, according to court testimony.

Hutchins, who was demoted to the rank of private and sent to Fort Leavenworth to complete an 11-year sentence, has been on a legal roller coaster since then.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus described him in 2009 as the instigator of premeditated murder.

In the other Iraq case, Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich has been charged with manslaughter and other crimes relating to the deaths of 24 civilians, including women and children, in Haditha in 2005.

Wuterich and his squad have been accused of a massacre and a U.S. congressman said they killed “in cold blood.” Wuterich pleaded not guilty. None of the seven others charged in the case was convicted of a crime.

Wuterich serves at Camp Pendleton while he awaits court martial, six years later.

Gary Solis, a former Camp Pendleton judge who teaches the law of war at Georgetown University, said he thinks the prospect of a conviction in Wuterich’s case has grown remote in intervening years.

“The outcome of the trial is now weighted in favor of the accused because of this gross delay,” Solis said.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/aug/03/iraq-war-crime-cases...


Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the U.S. Terror State

by Anthony Gregory 

Being a U.S. war criminal means never having to say sorry. Paul Tibbets, the man who flew the Enola Gay and destroyed Hiroshima, lived to the impressive age of 92 without publicly expressing guilt for what he had done. He had even reenacted his infamous mission at a 1976 Texas air show, complete with a mushroom cloud, and later said he never meant this to be offensive. In contrast, he called it a "damn big insult" when the Smithsonian planned an exhibit in 1995 showing some of the damage the bombing caused.

We might understand a man not coming to terms with his most important contribution to human history being such a destructive act. But what about the rest of the country?

It’s sickening that Americans even debate the atomic bombings, as they do every year in early August. Polls in recent years reveal overwhelming majorities of the American public accepting the acts as necessary.

Conservatives are much worse on this topic, although liberals surely don’t give it the weight it deserves. Trent Lott was taken to the woodshed for his comments in late 2002 about how Strom Thurmond would have been a better president than Truman. Lott and Thurmond both represent ugly strains in American politics, but no one dared question the assumption that Thurmond was obviously a less defensible candidate than Truman. Zora Neale Hurston, heroic author of the Harlem Renaissance, might have had a different take, as she astutely called Truman "a monster" and "the butcher of Asia." Governmental segregation is terrible, but why is murdering hundreds of thousands of foreign civilians with as much thought as one would give to eradicating silverfish treated as simply a controversial policy decision in comparison?

Perhaps it is the appeal to necessity. We hear that the United States would have otherwise had to invade the Japanese mainland and so the bombings saved American lives. But saving U.S. soldiers wouldn’t justify killing Japanese children any more than saving Taliban soldiers would justify dropping bombs on American children. Targeting civilians to manipulate their government is the very definition of terrorism. Everyone was properly horrified by Anders Behring Breivik’s murder spree in Norway last month – killing innocents to alter diplomacy. Truman murdered a thousand times as many innocents on August 6, 1945, then again on August 9.

It doesn’t matter if Japan "started it," either. Only individuals have rights, not nations. Unless you can prove that every single Japanese snuffed out at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was involved in the Pearl Harbor attack, the murderousness of the bombings is indisputable. Even the official history should doom Truman to a status of permanent condemnation. Besides being atrocious in themselves, the U.S. creation and deployment of the first nuclear weapons ushered in the seemingly endless era of global fear over nuclear war.

However, as it so happens, the official history is a lie. The U.S. provoked the Japanese to fire the first shot, as more and more historians have acknowledged. Although the attack on Pearl Harbor, a military base, was wrong, it was far less indefensible than the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki's civilian populations.

As for the utilitarian calculus of "saving American lives," historian Ralph Raico explains:
    [T]he rationale for the atomic bombings has come to rest on a single colossal fabrication, which has gained surprising currency: that they were necessary in order to save a half-million or more American lives. These, supposedly, are the lives that would have been lost in the planned invasion of Kyushu in December, then in the all-out invasion of Honshu the next year, if that was needed. But the worst-case scenario for a full-scale invasion of the Japanese home islands was forty-six thousand American lives lost.

The propaganda that the atomic bombings saved lives was nothing but a public relations pitch contrived in retrospect. These were just gratuitous acts of mass terrorism. By August 1945, the Japanese were completely defeated, blockaded, starving. They were desperate to surrender. All they wanted was to keep their emperor, which was ultimately allowed anyway. The U.S. was insisting upon unconditional surrender, a purely despotic demand. Given what the Allies had done to the Central Powers, especially Germany, after the conditional surrender of World War I, it’s understandable that the Japanese resisted the totalitarian demand for unconditional surrender.

A 1946 U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey determined the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nukings were not decisive in ending the war. Most of the political and military brass agreed. "The Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing," said Dwight Eisenhower in a 1963 interview with Newsweek.

Another excuse we hear is the specter of Hitler getting the bomb first. This is a non sequitur. By the time the U.S. dropped the bombs, Germany was defeated and its nuclear program was revealed to be nothing in comparison to America’s. The U.S. had 180,000 people working for several years on the Manhattan Project. The Germans had a small group led by a few elite scientists, most of whom were flabbergasted on August 6, as they had doubted such bombs were even possible. Even if the Nazis had gotten the bomb – which they were very far from getting – it wouldn’t in any way justify killing innocent Japanese.

For more evidence suggesting that the Truman administration was out to draw Japanese blood for its own sake, or as a show of force for reasons of Realpolitik, consider the United States’s one-thousand-plane bombing of Tokyo on August 14, the largest bombing raid of the Pacific war, after Hirohito agreed to surrender and the Japanese state made it clear it wanted peace. The bombing of Nagasaki should be enough to know it was not all about genuinely stopping the war as painlessly as possible – why not wait more than three days for the surrender to come? But to strategically bomb Japan five days after the destruction Nagasaki, as Japan was in the process of waving the white flag? It’s hard to imagine a greater atrocity, or clearer evidence that the U.S. government was not out to secure peace, but instead to slaughter as many Japanese as it could before consolidating its power for the next global conflict.

The U.S. had, by the time of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, destroyed 67 Japanese cities by firebombing, in addition to helping the British destroy over a hundred cities in Germany. In this dramatic footage from The Fog of War, Robert McNamara describes the horror he helped unleash alongside General Curtis LeMay, with images of the destroyed Japanese cities and an indication of what it would have meant for comparably sized cities in the United States:

"Killing fifty to ninety percent of the people in 67 Japanese cities and then bombing them with two nuclear bombs is not proportional – in the minds of some people – to the objectives we were trying to achieve," McNamara casually says. Indeed, this was clearly murderous, and Americans are probably the most resistant of all peoples to the truths of their government’s historical atrocities. It doesn’t hurt that the U.S. government has suppressed for years evidence such as film footage shot after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Yet even based on what has long been uncontroversial historical fact, we should all be disgusted and horrified by what the U.S. government did.

How would it have been if all those Germans and Japanese, instead of being burned to death from the sky, were corralled into camps and shot or gassed? Materially, it would have been the same. But Americans refuse to think of bombings as even in the same ballpark as other technologically expedient ways of exterminating people by the tens and hundreds of thousands. Why? Because the U.S. government has essentially monopolized terror bombing for nearly a century. No one wants to confront the reality of America’s crimes against humanity.

It would be one thing if Americans were in wide agreement that their government, like that of the Axis governments of World War II, had acted in a completely indefensible manner. But they’re not. The Allies were the white hats. Ignore the fact that the biggest belligerent on America’s side was Stalin’s Russia, whom the FDR and Truman administrations helped round up a million or two refugees to enslave and murder in the notorious undertaking known as Operation Keelhaul. We’re not supposed to think about that. World War II began with Pearl Harbor and it ended with D-Day and American sailors returning home to kiss their sweethearts who had kept America strong by working on assembly lines.

In the Korean war, another Truman project, the U.S. policy of shameful mass murder continued. According to historian Bruce Cumings, professor at the University of Chicago, millions of North Korean civilians were slaughtered by U.S. fire-bombings, chemical weapons and newly developed ordnance, some of which weighed in at 12,000 pounds. Eighteen out of 22 major cities were at least half destroyed. For a period in 1950, the US dropped about 800 tons of bombs on North Korea every day. Developed at the end of World War II, napalm got its real start in Korea. The US government also targeted civilian dams, causing massive flooding.

In Indochina, the U.S. slaughtered millions in a similar fashion. Millions of tons of explosives were dropped on Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. These ghastly weapons are literally still killing people – tens of thousands have died since the war ended, and three farmers were killed just last week. Among the horrible effects of the bombing was the rise of Pol Pot’s regime, probably the worst in history on a per capita basis.

The U.S. has committed mass terrorism since, although not on quite the scale as in past generations. Back in the day the U.S. would drop tons of explosives, knowing that thousands would die in an instant. In today’s wars, it drops explosives and then pretends it didn’t mean to kill the many civilians who predictably die in such acts of violence. Only fifteen hundred bombs were used to attack Baghdad in March 2003. That’s what passes as progress. The naked murderousness of U.S. foreign policy, however, is still apparent. The bombings of water treatment facilities and sanctions on Iraq in the 1990s deliberately targeted the vulnerable Iraqi people. Once the type of atrocities the U.S. committed in World War II have been accepted as at the worst debatable tactics in diplomacy, anything goes.

American politicians would have us worry about Iran, a nation that hasn’t attacked another country in centuries, one day getting the bomb. There is no evidence that the Iranians are even seeking nuclear weapons. But even if they were, the U.S. has a much worse record in both warmongering and nuclear terror than Iran or any other country in modern times. It is more than hypocritical for the U.S. to pose as the leader of global peace and nuclear disarmament.

The hypocrisy and moral degeneracy in the mouths of America’s celebrated leaders should frighten us more than anything coming out of Iran or North Korea, especially given America’s capacity to kill and willingness to do it. Upon dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, President Truman called the bomb the "greatest achievement of organized science in history" and wondered aloud how "atomic power can become a powerful and forceful influence toward the maintenance of world peace." Nothing inverts good and evil, progress and regress, as much as the imperial state. In describing the perversion of morality in the history of U.S. wars, Orwell’s "war is peace" doesn’t cut it. "Exterminating civilians by the millions is the highest of all virtues" is perhaps a better tagline for the U.S. terror state.

August 3, 2011

Anthony Gregory is research editor at the Independent Institute. He lives in Oakland, California. See his webpage for more articles and personal information.

Copyright © 2011 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.
http://lewrockwell.com/gregory/gregory232.html

U.S. Veteran Allowed to Sue Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld for Torture

A U.S. Army veteran has won court approval to sue former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld for alleged unjust imprisonment and torture in Iraq. In court filings, the unidentified former soldier alleges he was jailed for nine months at Camp Cropper, a U.S. military prison in Baghdad for "high-value" detainees, while working as a translator for a Marine contractor in Anbar province. He had been preparing to come home when the U.S. military abducted him out of the blue and held him without charge. The veteran says he was repeatedly abused before ultimately being released in August 2006. The government claims he was suspected of aiding anti-U.S. fighters in Iraq, but he was never charged with a crime. In okaying the suit, the district judge in the case rejected the Obama administration’s argument that Rumsfeld cannot be sued personally for official conduct and that congressionally mandated presidential and congressional decisions cannot be reviewed by the courts.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/8/5/headlines#9

file under: travesty of justice, military style
US soldier gets 3 years for Afghan killing spree
 
Aug 6th 2011
 
BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD: A member of a rogue US Army unit has been sentenced to three years' prison after pleading guilty to killing an unarmed Afghan civilian in US custody in May 2010.

Specialist Adam Winfield, 23, of Coral Gables, Fla., had been charged with premeditated murder, aggravated assault and conspiracy to commit murder in several incidents, including the deaths of three Afghan civilians in Kandahar Province.

He pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of involuntary manslaughter in military court, along with one count of illegal use of marijuana, in exchange for his testimony against other soldiers accused in the killings. On Friday, his rank was reduced to private and Winfield was stripped of pay and allowances, as well as discharged for bad conduct. The Coral Gables,

Florida man will get credit for the approximately 507 days he has already served in prison.

http://thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=20181&title=US-soldier...

file under:  psychotic sub-culture in the military
3 Marines charged in Afghanistan hazing case

By William Cole
Aug 25, 2011

Three Hawaii Marines have been charged with multiple offenses ranging from assault and maltreatment to violation of orders and dereliction of duty for alleged hazing leading up to the April 3 death of fellow Marine Lance Cpl. Harry Lew in Afghanistan, officials said today.

Lew, 21, committed suicide April 3 after being hazed by two other Marine lance corporals, the Marine Corps Times said, citing an investigation into the death.

NBC News reported that according to the investigation, Lew, of Santa Clara, Calif., put the muzzle of his M249 Squad Automatic Weapon in his mouth and pulled the trigger.  Lew had written on his arm, "may hate me now, but in the long run this was the right choice I'm sorry my mom deserves the truth," NBC said.

The accused are:

Lance Cpl. Carlos Orozco III, 22, violation of a lawful order for wrongfully humiliating and demeaning Lew; dereliction for willfully failing to supervise and ensure the welfare of the Marines under his care; cruelty and maltreatment for ordering Lew to do push-ups, side planks, leg lifts with a sandbag, while wearing full personal protective equipment and pouring sand onto his face. Orozco also is charged with assault for unlawfully striking Lew by stomping on his back with his foot and kicking Lew’s head while Lew was wearing a Kevlar helmet.

Sgt. Benjamin E. Johns, 26, violation of a lawful order for wrongfully humiliating and demeaning Lew, and dereliction for willfully failing to supervise and ensure the welfare of the Marines under his care.

Lance Cpl. Jacob D. Jacoby, 21, violation of a lawful order for wrongfully abusing, humiliating and demeaning Lew; assault for unlawfully striking Lew in the back with his foot; assault for unlawfully kicking Lew in the head while Lew was wearing a Kevlar helmet; assault for striking Lew in the head with a closed fist while Lew wore a helmet. Jacoby also is charged with communicating a threat to Lew that he was going to receive a beating, which “was to the prejudice of good order and discipline or was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.”

An Article 32 hearing, similar to a civilian preliminary hearing, tentatively is scheduled for Sept. 8, 2011.

http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/breaking/3_Hawaii_Marines_charge...



The Tulsa Peace Fellowship's Counter-Recruitment Update/Digest, for Sept 2011
backpage

North Korea Urges US to Accept Peace Deal
61 Years Into Conflict, US Seems Uninterested in Offer
by Jason Ditz, antiwar.com
July 27, 2011

Over 61 years after the Korean War began, the United States is still in a state of war with the North Koreans. The North Korean government hopes to change that, however, as a top official arrived in New York today for “exploratory talks” and urged the signing of a peace treaty.

North Korea’s state news agency released a statement on the issue, insisting that the 1953 armistice should be replaced with a permanent end to hostilities and an actual peace treaty between the nations involved in the conflict.

The statement also made it clear that the North Korean government believes that a peace deal would be a key to moving toward nuclear disamament on the Korean Peninsula. The North Korean government successfully tested a nuclear weapon in May, 2009.

http://news.antiwar.com/2011/07/27/north-korea-urges-us-to-accept-p...

follow up:
US Unilaterally Demands North Korea Accept Nuclear Disamament
by Jason Ditz,
July 29, 2011

US officials insisted that further talks required the North to immediately commit to full nuclear disarmament.

The comments come just two days after North Korean officials urged the US to accept a peace deal ending the 61-year-old Korean War. Those officials said that the path toward nuclear disarament would move forward much more easily in the absence of a war.

http://news.antiwar.com/2011/07/29/us-cautiously-optimistic-on-nort...
TPF comment:  What's your problem Clinton?  Surely you can respect that the N. Koreans are now negotiating from a position of strength?  Time to sit down with them at the table and hammer out a peace deal.  A be snappy about it!  We've waited six decades for this opportunity.


Taliban Okays Peace Talks If US Sets Pullout Date
--Taliban Leadership Insists It Already Agreed to Sever All Ties With al-Qaeda

by Jason Ditz, antiwar.com
August 03, 2011

In comments to media outlets, former prime minister of Taliban-run Afghanistan Ahmad Ahmadzai insisted that the Taliban agreed to take part in direct peace talks with the US two years ago, requiring only that the US set a date for a full pullout from Afghanistan.

Indeed, Ahmadzai claims, the Taliban didn’t even require a certain date of their own choosing, saying it was entirely up to the US to set a date and that the date simply needed to be set publicly. They reportedly reiterated this offer a few days ago.

They also, according to Ahmadzai, agreed to a US demand that they sever all ties with al-Qaeda, insisting that such a move would not be an issue to such talks.

http://news.antiwar.com/2011/08/03/former-pm-taliban-okays-peace-ta...

Mubarak, in Cage at Court, Pleads Not Guilty

by John Glaser, antiwar.com
August 03, 2011

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak appeared in a Cairo court Wednesday to face charges of corruption and the killing of almost 900 anti-government protesters during February’s popular revolution that ousted him from power. Mubarak pleaded not guilty, declaring, "I deny all these accusations completely." If convicted, he could face the death penalty. 

http://news.antiwar.com/2011/08/03/mubarak-in-cage-at-court-pleads-...

Iraqi VP: US Pullout Would Improve Security
Continued American presence would be "a problem, not a solution," VP says
by John Glaser
August 14, 2011

Pulling U.S. forces out of Iraq will improve the security situation there, Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi claimed Sunday, days after Iraqi leaders agreed to negotiate a possible post-2011 occupation. Hashemi, a Sunni Muslim and one of two vice presidents whose positions are largely ceremonial, said a continued American military presence in Iraq would be “a problem, not a solution.”

Hashemi’s statements seem to recognize that only full sovereignty will make Iraq safe and independent. Only a full withdrawal of U.S. troops will prevent an upscale in violence and pacify Iraqis who refuse to continue to be militarily occupied.

Meanwhile, U.S. leaders, desperate to continue to occupy Iraq to solidify dominance over their newfound client state, have been pressuring the Iraqi leadership for months on an extension. Negotiations are ongoing over whether and how many of the 47,000 remaining troops will stay. Unresolved issues include the size of the force, its responsibilities, the duration of its stay, and whether its members would be immune from Iraqi prosecution.

http://news.antiwar.com/2011/08/14/iraqi-vp-us-pullout-would-improv...


Ready or not, Okinawa aims to wean itself off of military dollars
By Travis J. Tritten and Chiyomi Sumida
Stars and Stripes
August 20, 2011

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Yoichi Iha unfolded a colored city map on the desk in his office, which sits just outside the fence line of the Futenma air station.

The former mayor of Ginowan knows well what the map shows — the sprawling oval military base at the center, surrounded by a doughnut of city land.

About 10 percent of Japan’s southernmost prefecture is occupied by U.S. military bases including Futenma, a fact of life that has caused deep frustration on the island and political turmoil in Tokyo.

For years, Iha and others have envisioned a future when the military land is returned and transformed into malls, restaurants, shops and office buildings that will draw new prosperity and tourists from abroad.

“The presence of vast military bases hinders Okinawa’s ability to further grow its economy,” Okinawa Vice Gov. Kanetoshi Yoseda said. “Even if closing bases causes a temporary loss of income, people believe that far bigger chances at growth will be in their hands” when the military is gone.

Yoseda, Iha and others who champion redevelopment can look to successes.

The American Village in Chatan was once U.S. Army land but is now a sprawling seaside commercial district of restaurants, coffee shops and clothing stores that draws about 1 million visitors each year and employs about 3,000 people.

A 2007 study by a private Japanese institute found that American Village produced about 215 times more benefit to the local economy than the Army operations that existed there before.

Similarly, the Omoromachi center in the prefecture capital of Naha was once U.S. military housing, but was redeveloped into a mall, offices and government facilities and produces about 16 times more economic benefit to the island, according to the report published by Nomura Research Institute in Tokyo and Urban Science Associates in Naha.

“What we will gain is far greater than what we lose from base closure,” Yoseda said.

http://www.stripes.com/news/ready-or-not-okinawa-aims-to-wean-itsel...



The Tulsa Peace Fellowship's Counter-Recruitment Update/Digest, for Sept 2011
masthead

who we are:

The Tulsa Peace Fellowship is the activist wing of the peace movement in Eastern Oklahoma.  TPF offers citizens and community groups tools and resources to participate personally in our democracy, to help shape federal budget and policy priorities, and to promote peace, social and economic justice, and human rights.   TPF is a registered non-profit organization and a non-partisan civic-sector organization, loosely affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration, north side of Tulsa.

"Waging Peace One Person at a Time".

Through its counter-recruitment task force, TPF is a member of the National Network in Opposition to the Militarization of Youth (NNOMY) representing some 188 counter-recruitment groups in cities and towns across the country. On the web: http://www.nnomy.org/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=v... 

Tulsa Peace Fellowship is open to members of third parties, progressives, Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Green Party members, etc.  If you have not already done so, please join the new social networking tool for TPF on Ning, in lieu of TPFtalks on yahoogroups, which has fallen into disuse  Thank you!  You can check out our new tool here: http://tulsapeacefellowship.ning.com/ (new for 2011)  Also still going strong:  our announcement list on yahoo!  tulsapeace@yahoogroups.com (since 2002)  Go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/ and search for "tulsapeace"

If you enjoyed this news digest and/or found this update useful, please consider making a donation of time, money, or effort to the Tulsa Peace Fellowship.  

TPF needs your support.

You can donate online via PINC (pull down menu for US$ donations)
http://www.pincgiving.com/donate/organization/1202854

Or, please mail a check or money order made out to the"Tulsa Peace Fellowship" to :

The Tulsa Peace Fellowship
c/o UU Church of the Restoration,
1314 N. Greenwood Ave, Tulsa Oklahoma. 74106-4854
Find on a map: Google Maps link

Contributions to TPF are not tax deductible at the present time. Details on tax status available.



The next monthly anti-war demo in Tulsa
is scheduled for
Saturday Sept 3rd, 2011, 12noon to 2pm, with the theme: "Bring U.S. Military $$$ Home Now!"
Details online: http://tulsapeacefellowship.ning.com/events/out-of-afghanistan-1

The next regularly scheduled business meeting of the Fellowship will be held
 on
Thursday, Sept 8th 2011, 6:15 PM – 7:30 PM @ the UU Church of the Restoration, in Tulsa, just north of downtown
--including members from other local non-partisan groups such as the Tulsa University chapter of Amnesty International, Veterans for Peace, the Humanist Association of Tulsa, the Center for Racial Justice in Tulsa, the Tulsa Interfaith Allliance, Pax Christi, and the Quakers

Come join us!   Especially parents, guardians, and students in the Tulsa Public Schools system who are interested in countering the presence of military recruiters on school grounds.


An archive of TPF counter-recruitment updates and other related TPF material is available to members online:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tulsapeace/
You must sign in to yahoo! groups to see the archived "message history"
TPF messages have been archived online since 2002
TPF was founded some 30 years ago.
Current membership online: 692 subscribers

The information provided in this digest/update herein is for non-profit use only, according to "fair use" doctrine.  Copyright and all commercial exploitation rights remain with the various authors/publishers cited above. The Tulsa Peace Fellowship does not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the articles appearing herein.

further information

IN ACCORDANCE WITH TITLE 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107, THIS MATERIAL IS DISTRIBUTED WITHOUT PROFIT TO THOSE WHO HAVE EXPRESSED A PRIOR INTEREST IN RECEIVING THE INCLUDED INFORMATION FOR RESEARCH AND EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. Tulsa Peace Fellowship HAS NO AFFILIATION WHATSOEVER WITH THE ORIGINATOR OF THESE ARTICLES NOR IS Tulsa Peace Fellowship ENDORSED OR SPONSORED BY THE ORIGINATORS.

SOURCE ARTICLE LINKS ARE PROVIDED AS A CONVENIENCE TO OUR READERS AND ALLOW FOR VERIFICATION OF AUTHENTICITY. HOWEVER, AS ORIGINATING PAGES ARE OFTEN UPDATED BY THEIR ORIGINATING HOST SITES, THE VERSIONS POSTED MAY NOT MATCH THE VERSIONS OUR READERS VIEW WHEN CLICKING THE SOURCE ARTICLE LINKS, OR INDEED, THE WEBPAGES MAY NO LONGER EVEN EXIST.


Strength Through Peace:  Out of Iraq & Afghanistan
Accountability:  Indict & Imprison Bush & Cheney for War Crimes
JROTC: Out of Our Schools
Schools as Military-Free Zones
Alternatives to War:  Department of Peace & cabinet-level Secretary of Peace

THE 10 REASONS

Ten excellent reasons not to join the military:
a.. You Sept Be Killed, Even By Mistake
b.. You Sept Kill Others Who Do Not Deserve to Die
c.. You Sept Be Injured
d.. You Sept Not Receive Proper Medical Care
e.. You Sept Suffer Long-term Health Problems
f.. You Sept Be Lied To
g.. You Sept Face Discrimination
h.. You Sept Be Asked to Do Things Against Your Beliefs
i.. You Sept Find It Difficult to Leave the Military
j.. You Have Other Choices, including the Choice to Learn a Marketable Skill

for more info:
http://www.10reasonsbook.com/medcare.htm






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